Marine shoots wounded(?) terrorist

NBC correspondent Kevin Sites, embedded with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, videotaped a Marine on Saturday shooting an apparently wounded and unarmed terrorist in a Fallujah mosque.

On the video, as the camera moved into the mosque during the Saturday incident, a Marine can be heard shouting obscenities in the background, yelling that one of the men was only pretending to be dead.
The video then showed a Marine raising his rifle toward a prisoner lying on the floor of the mosque. The video shown by NBC and provided to the network pool was blacked out at that point and did not show the bullet hitting the man. But a rifle shot could be heard.
The blacked out portion of the video tape, provided later to Associated Press Television News and other members of the network pool, showed the bullet striking the man in the upper body, possibly the head. His blood splatters on the wall behind him and his body goes limp.
Sites reported a Marine in the same unit had been killed just a day earlier when he tended to the booby-trapped dead body of an insurgent.

Here’s Sites’ description.
The Marine in question stands accused of violating the rules of engagement, and has been removed from the front pending an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Before we all rush to judgment, let’s calm down a little bit. This is a combat zone we’re talking about, and a very dirty one at that. Keep in mind that our side isn’t the bunch that decapitates hostages, targets civilians, fakes white flags, and lures the opposition in with fake wounded. There could very well be a satisfactory explanation tht mitigates what seems (at first glance) to be a war crime. Give the NCIS time.
Not everything, including this …

Colonel Loan executes a VC prisoner

… is what it seems.
More blogging:
Winds of Change
Wizbang
Right On Red
Blogs of War
Armies of Liberation
InTheBullpen.com
Conservative Revolution
ISOU
Say Anything
The Shape of Days
PoliPundit
Ace of Spades
American Soldier

UPDATE: More on treatment of enemy wounded in Fallujah, courtesy of The Command Post. Also, see cameraman Kevin Sites’ blog.

13 comments

  1. Armies of Liberation

    Shot him in the head

    While the embedded TV reporter rolled the tape.
    Abu Ghraib redux: the image of the good work of the thousands of soldiers for the people of Fallujah wiped out by one over exhausted soldier- POW: “He’s dead now.”
    How many times a day will this…

  2. ISOU

    I’m Baaaaack!

    Well, El Malo apparently bored most of you, so I am back to take the helm again. Well it looks like El Malo got tons of Trackbacks for his mention of the Fallujah Marine shooting, so here is my take:…

  3. InTheBullpen.com

    U.S. Soldier Shoots Iraqi Prisoner in Raid

    This is clearly an incident that should not have happened, but should we fault our soldiers for being paranoid at the tactics employed by terrorists? As always, there�s more to the story than Reuters wants to show.

  4. John S.

    I was working with American army when it is start fighting Fallujah,
    I think we will fighting terrorists, but we enter fallujah every thing change,
    Many of my friends killed in front of me, we lost to much troops their,
    After that our leaders gave us orders to kill anybody even citizenes,
    They said to us : all people here are our enemy,
    After that my friends start killing people in every where,
    In front of camera my friends give people food and water, and behind camera they start killing people,
    I lost my leg in this war, and they take me to germany,
    Anyway I will not go back their, this is not war for freedom,
    I thing myself devil, Actually I am a devil, because our tanks destroy every thing there,
    Our tanks destroy buildings and their people inside, we destroy mosque and killing every people inside, even they don’t have weapons,
    Oh my god, forgive me,
    Oh my god, bless me,
    I will not go back any more,
    I will go back to my country,
    And I will left American Army,
    John S.

  5. Rey

    Does anyone actually believe Johns rant. John please, at least learn English before attempting to pose as an American soldier.

  6. Watcher of Weasels

    Playing Possum

    So, a gang of terrorists holed up in a Fallujah mosque fired upon some Marines the other day…  these Marines returned fire, and eventually moved on.  Later, another group of Marines find the wounded terrorists that had been left behind…&n…

  7. Chet

    Was the prisoner actually armed? Isn’t that rather a crucial detail? Was he actually wounded? It’s quite a stretch to suggest that a Marine should reasonably percieve a threat from an unarmed, wounded man.
    I’m glad you’re so quick to exonerate our side of any wrongdoing; but maybe you want to dig a little deeper into this before settling on the conclusion that seems to make you feel the best.

  8. deadscot

    Having watched the video, read the transcripts and digested the available information, I would have to say the Marine was in the wrong in this case. His actions were understandable but not justifiable.
    It’s a shame that he was ever in a predicament such as this to begin with.

  9. Chris

    Are you people freaking serious? The Marine in question more then likely felt that the “bad guy” was a threat, and when you feel a particular object is a threat you destroy it. You people have NO right to second guess the actions of any soldier in any fight any where. What if it happened the other way around, what if the Marine didn’t fire and the “bad guy” lit off a dynamite belt or put a round in between the troops eyes, what would you be saying then. If you have never been in the service and never been in combat, keep you mouth shut, because of public outcry about war being “violent” on the news, us soldiers are fighting a heavy weight match with our hand tied behind our backs! And “JohnS”, your a piece of shit, how dare you attempt to impersonate a soldier you stupid bastard, instead of lying (which you suck at) go take a english class, maybe preschool level will work.

  10. deadscot

    Chris – Take it easy. It took me awhile to come to that conclusion. I’ve been there before so I can speak for myself. I feel for this Marine and it pains me deeply for what this is going to do to him.
    The bottom line is that the military has a standard operating procedure for dealing with casualty threats and it wasn’t followed. If the SOP had been followed and the insurgent liquidated fine, but the SOP wasn’t followed.
    Do I think the Marine should be court martialed? Certainly not. I think he needs refresher training on dealing with casualty threats and maybe administrative punishment.

  11. Chet

    The Marine in question more then likely felt that the “bad guy” was a threat, and when you feel a particular object is a threat you destroy it.
    No.
    You have to substantiate threat before you eliminate it. Was this wounded man a threat? Was he armed? It doesn’t look like it.
    Second-guessing our soldiers is how we keep our republic free. And this isn’t even second-guessing; it’s on tape. We can all see it. But even if it wasn’t, nothing would be different. Just because you volunteered to carry a rifle and do what needs to be done doesn’t excuse unlawful conduct.

  12. Chris

    After reading into it more apparently the wounded insurgent was hiding in a blanket. So you expect this troop to just assume the person hiding there is not a threat and maybe die because of that assumption. The dude very well could have had explosives rigged to himself and we’d be notching up more U.S. casualitys. From the training I’ve recieved this Marine acted within the ROE’s that I’ve seen.